March 28, 2014 by Mod
Science fiction is a tricky genre to cover. Many things have changed in sci-fi publishing over the past decades. Sci-fi has had to respond to the incredible changes in real technology and development.The YA category has introduced sci-fi to more female readers than ever before, as well as female characters and authors. Sci-fi is becoming more diverse, more inclusive. Dare I say science fiction has stepped into the 21st century?
So what you are not going to see on sci-fi covers much anymore is the kind of female objectifying covers that were a mainstay of the genre in it’s earlier days. Stuff like this:
You just rarely see passive half naked women on sci-fi covers anymore, especially not on books for adult readers. There are complicated reasons why but suffice it to say that female readers don’t enjoy being objectified and young male readers have been avoiding books with girls on the cover since their early teens. Once they are adults this doesn’t change.
So these covers, once designed to appeal to the mostly male readers of sci-fi have gone the way of the laser disk. Now sci-fi covers take range of approaches. Some have original, graphic illustrations, and some, like my design work, use photo manipulation. Are there trends? I don’t think so. I think the approach to sci-fi covers is a varied as the plots. Here are a few sci-fi covers I’ve made: